|Repsol riders look forward to a positive Dutch TT|
Author: Honda Racing Press Release
Posted on: Tuesday, Jun 21 2005
With the longest track on the GP calendar, Assen has hosted a GP every year since the inception of the World Championship back in 1949. The 'Cathedral of Grand Prix Motorcycle racing’ as the venue is often referred to in the north of Holland is Honda’s most successful track where Honda riders have stood on the top step of the podium no less than 53 times.
Biaggi is hoping to find that spark that saw him ride majestically at Mugello at the start of June to claim his best finish of the year. Biaggi is also hoping to celebrate his 34th birthday on Monday after the race with a strong result to consolidate and hopefully improve his current third place in the rider’s championship.
His team-mate Hayden had his best race of the season at Barcelona a fortnight ago when he spent the majority of the 25-lap race dicing with Honda-mounted Alex Barros and Marco Melandri in an enthralling battle for the last spot on the podium. He tested at the Montmelo circuit the day after the race and clocked up more than 50 potentially useful wet laps prior to Assen that usually sees rain sometime over the race weekend.
A very welcome addition to the Repsol Honda Team's facilities will be the debut of a new hospitality unit that will replace the existing one that the team have used over the last 11 seasons. Designed by Mirko Gabellini and built by Italian coach building specialist Silma Bus, the new facility can be set up eight hours faster than the old unit and boasts some cutting-edge design features that will be revealed when the designers and engineers officially launch the unit on Thursday night in the paddock.
“Assen is one of my favourite circuits. In 2001 I won the 500cc race there. The track is very technical and you are always going in and out of a corner – never really in a straight line. I hope to find the right set up with my team from Thursday Free Practice. We need to do good.
“Barcelona is a bitter thought because I wasn't able to express my skill. It was frustrating. Now our goal is to find the good feeling with the bike that I had at Mugello and to come back and compete with the fastest guys.”
“I'm really looking forward to Assen. It's one of my favourite circuits of the championship as it is fast and long. I haven’t qualified there great in the past but had a good race there last year where we made up a lot of places in the race. Like always we need to get a good grid slot and make it all count on race day. We had a positive wet days' test after the last race in Barcelona and we found some stuff that seemed to work in the rain. It always seems to get damp sometimes at Assen so I hope we're in better shape than we would have been without the test.
“After the race we're off to ride at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK on Sunday to celebrate 40 years of Honda GP success with Mick Doohan and Freddie Spencer and lots of others. Should be great."
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